Toshiba Demos Tech That Will Deliver Huge Capacity HDDs Topping 30TB In The Near Future

hero hdd news
Solid-state storage may have all-but-replaced spinning disks in consumer hardware, but hard drives still hit a sweet spot between the speed of SSDs and the price-per-gigabyte of tape that remains extremely important for many enterprise and cloud customers. Thanks to a new joint development from Toshiba, SDK, and TDK, that price-per-gigabyte advantage may grow even further soon.

The specific technology that Toshiba has pioneered is called "Microwave Assisted Switching-Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording", or "MAS-MAMR". The Japanese company explains that increasing HDD data density requires overcoming a "trilemma" of issues: reducing physical size of magnetic grains on the disc, improving thermal stability of the grains, and maintaining recording performance at a given density.

Overcoming these three issues at once required Toshiba to invent a "bi-oscillation-type spin-torque oscillator device" that irradiates microwaves in a "two-layer field generating layer," as apparently shown in the diagram below:

toshiba diagram mas mamr
Image: Toshiba

We're not storage scientists and need to dig into this technology further to fully digest it, but apparently in combination with new recording heads developed by TDK and new magnetic media developed by SDK, the new drives have been demonstrated to improve recording performance by 6 decibels. That, in turn, allows for a significant increase in recording density over previous technologies.

Toshiba already ships drives based on MAMR technology, but that form is known as "Flux Control MAMR," and obviously not as advanced as the new tech. Toshiba's current FC-MAMR drives can store up to 18TB per drive. The new MAS-MAMR technology could allow Toshiba to begin shipping drives "with large capacity of over 30TB".

However, despite Toshiba repeatedly indicating that it plans for "early commercialization" of MAS-MAMR technology, the company gave no actual timeline for when drives bearing the technology would find their way to market.
Tags:  HDD, Storage, Toshiba, mamr